Fake news is useful

On a trip to Ethiopia in the 1990s, I met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to try to persuade him to stop jailing journalists. Since Meles’s guerrillas had ousted a repressive Soviet-backed dictatorship a few years before, there had been an explosion of exuberant and sometimes wildly inaccurate little newspapers, many of them attacking Meles.

5 May 2019

Danger ahead for Indonesia?

While vote counting continues for Indonesia’s recently concluded election, reports have come out that incumbent, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo already enjoys a comfortable lead over former general and rival, Prabowo Subianto, at least according to the unofficial results. 

19 April 2019

ASEAN’s democracy is low quality

Indonesia pulled off a complex yet peaceful election across its vast – and ethnically diverse – island territory this week, cementing its place as a democratic beacon in a sea of authoritarian governments, analysts say.

But the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation still faces a spike in militant Islam and myriad other challenges.

19 April 2019

Big fight in Jakarta

Tomorrow, Indonesian’s will go to the ballot box. For the first time in the country's history, the president, vice president, and members of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), will be elected on the same day with over 190 million eligible voters. 16 parties will be participating in the elections nationally, with four participating for the first time.

16 April 2019

Thailand elections: What could happen next?

A coup leader triumphs as a civilian prime minister, an alliance of parties unite to stop him, or a parliamentary deadlock forces another political crisis – the outcome of Thailand's disputed election remains undecided a week after the poll.

So, what next? Here are the possible scenarios for how the election could play out.

1 April 2019

Thais face a tough choice tomorrow

Tomorrow, 24 March 2019, is a day that will forever be etched in the history books. Tomorrow, Thais will choose who they want to lead them to glory or perhaps drag the country down to damnation.

23 March 2019

Regime change could weaken Thai economy

A high-speed train that glides from an expanded coastal airport handling 60 million passengers toward cavernous new stations in Bangkok. An infrastructure blitz that takes Thailand’s economy to new heights.

18 March 2019

Myanmar’s fading democratic sheen

When Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League of Democracy (NLD) party won the general elections in 2015, a new wave of hope swept Myanmar. Previously under a military junta for almost 50 years from 1962 to 2011, Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi and her cohort represented the change the country so badly needed; a shift from military dictatorship to a functioning democracy.

27 February 2019

Thai democracy faces uncertain future

Ever since the military junta gained power in 2014, it has promised on numerous occasions that democracy will return to Thailand and fresh elections will be held.

30 May 2018